Guest post from David Nichols, brangym's head of invention.
easyJet, the low cost airline pioneered by Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, is doing away with it's famous free-for-all seating system, that is has used since launching in1995. Instead of having to run, fight and push for your seat, you will now be able to reserve your seat.
Is this a betrayal of it's 'no frills' status? Are they slipping gradually into the same mold as all other ailrlines? I suggest the answer is NO. This is a savvy and spot on move to drive growth. Here's why.
The scramble for seats and the ensuing barging and stress is not something passengers enjoy. The only alternative up to now has been to pay for "Speedy Boarding", which was expensive, especially with a family.
easyJet have listened, trialled allocated seating and found that it makes the journey EASIER. Exactly what they should be doing. Bravo.
2. Differentiates from Ryanair
easyJet's main competitor is famous for putting costs before customers and by bring allocated seating in Easyjet have given people another reason to choose them over their Irish rivals; "I know Ryanair is a few pounds cheaper, but at least we don't have to worry about scrambling for seats with Easyjet."
3. Attracts new users
easyJet have been winning a steady stream of business travellers from the major airlines and this move is sure to increase the flow. There is one less reason for a business traveller to reject low-cost airlines "I can't be doing with the scramble for a seat - I'm trying to work!". This is a smart move that will see more & more cost conscious business types swap their national airline for the big Easy.
Net, this is a good example of innovating on the core to make it better and more distinctive.